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New Shimano Deore XT & SLX Groupsets Bring 12-Speed Features to Mountain Bikes

Shimano DEORE XT

DEORE XT Groupset Picture: Shimano

 

The new DEORE XT M8100 series includes features such as Shimano’s 12-speed MICRO SPLINE cassette sprockets with either a 10-45T or 10-51T range, 1×12 or 2×12 HOLLOWTECH II cranksets, 2-piston or 4-piston brakes, fully adjustable ISPEC-EV shifters, 12-speed precision-shifting front and rear derailleurs, ICE TECHNOLOGIES FREEZA rotors and complete XC or Enduro wheelsets.

 

Cranksets

DEORE XT Crankset Picture: Shimano

The new DEORE XT 1X12 crankset features HOLLOWTECH II crank arms with an integrated bottom bracket axle and hollow crank arm. Chainrings come with a Dynamic Chain Engagement+ tooth profile, which, with its narrow/wide teeth. For secure and fast mounting of the chainring, the crank has a direct mount system to simplify how chainrings are changed. The crankset comes with 28T, 30T, 32T, 34T and 36T chainring options, interchangeable with XTR and SLX rings, has crank length options of 165mm, 170mm, 175mm and 180mm. DEORE XT cranksets are available for three chain lines:

– 52mm (FC-M8100-1) for Over Lock-Nut Dimensions (O.L.D.) of 142mm or 148mm, giving the narrowest 172mm Q-factor
– 55mm (FC-M8120-1) for an O.L.D. of 148mm for wider tyre and frame clearance (Q-factor 178mm)
– 56.5mm (FC-M8130-1) for an O.L.D. of 157mm and a wide Q-factor of 181mm

Crankset weights: FC-M8100-1: 620g, FC-M8120-1: 628g, FC-M8130-1: 636g (All 32T; 175mm, w/o BB)

The DEORE XT 2X12 HOLLOWTECH II 36-26T crankset offers a good range when matched with the 10-45T cassette, maximizing the possibilities on all sorts of terrain while maintaining small gear steps for a consistent cadence.

Two 2x cranksets are available, both featuring a 2-bolt system for fixing the left side crank arm in place on the spindle. The FC-M8100-2 crankset has a 142mm O.L.D. for chain lines of 48.8mm and a Q-factor of 172mm. The FC-M8120-B2 crankset has a 148mm O.L.D. for chain lines of 51.8mm and a Q-factor of 178mm.

Weight for the FC-M8120-B2 (36-26T, 175mm, w/o BB) is 672g and for the FC-M8100-2 36-26T, 175mm, w/o BB) is 654g.

 

Cassette

DEORE XT Cassette Picture: Shimano

DEORE XT 12-speed cassettes come with the MICRO SPLINE fitting system and are available in a 10-45T option for small gear steps or a 10-51T option for maximum range. Shimano claims that both cassettes also feature HYPERGLIDE+, allowing for quick up and downshifts and an extremely quiet drivetrain. The cassettes have an aluminium spider to house ten steel sprockets and two aluminium sprockets. The CS-M8100-12 10-51T cassette weighs 470g, and the 10-45T option weighs 461g.

 

Chain

DEORE XT Chain Picture: Shimano

The new DEORE XT 12-speed HG chain has been redesigned with an extended inner plate to improve chain engagement and retention and comes with chromized roller link plates for enhanced durability and smoother and faster shifting both up and down the cassette. The CN-M8100 chain (113 links + Quick Link) weighs 252g.

 

Derailleurs

DEORE XT Rear Derailleur Picture: Shimano

Coming in either single (RD-M8100-SGS) or double (RD-M8120-SGS) chainring variants, Shimano claims that the DEORE XT rear derailleur enables precise and quick shifting over a huge gear range. Both derailleurs feature SHIMANO SHADOW RD+ positioning, bump stoppers and 13T pulley wheels. Rear derailleurs weights: RD-M8100-SGS: 284g, RD-M8120-SGS: 290g.

DEORE XT Front Derailleur Picture: Shimano

The DEORE XT front derailleur comes in one specification for both 48.8mm & 51.8mm chain lines but is available for D-type, E-type or M-type mountings. Front derailleur weights: FD-M8100-D: 135g, FD-M8100-E: 106g, FD-M8100-M: 114g.

 

Shifters

DEORE XT Shifter Picture: Shimano

 

With side adjustment and rotational adjustment options, the ISPEC-EV shifters, which bolt to the brake lever, offer solutions for tailoring the riding feel. Shimano claims that the rubber padding on the paddles and a two-way release enhances shifting even further. The right-hand shifter (SL-M8100-IR) uses a multi-release feature to dump cassette gears quickly and, for riders using a 2×12 set-up, a MONO lever on the left (SL-M8100-IL) shifts the front derailleur both up and down with precision. DEORE XT M8100 shifters are also available in a clamp band version. Shifter weights: SL-M8100-IR: 120g, SL-M8100-IL: 73g, SL-M8100-R: 117g, SL-M8100-L: 78g.

 

Brakes

DEORE XT Brake Caliper Picture: Shimano

DEORE XT brakes callipers are available in an XC-specific 2-piston version or a Trail/Enduro 4-piston version. The 2-piston version shares the same design as the previous XT M8000 version, which means the previous G02A/3A/J02A/3A resin brake pads or G04S/J04C metal pads are compatible, whereas the 4-piston version is a new completely new construction drawn from the XTR M9100 design, sharing the same N03A (resin) or N04C (metal) finned pads (compatible also with D03S or D02S pads).

 

DEORE XT Brakes Picture: Shimano

 

The DEORE XT brake levers work with both the XC and Trail/Enduro callipers and come equipped with Shimano’s SERVO WAVE system, which Shimano claims that it offers quicker engagement, improved power and a shorter free stroke. The brake levers are now angled in two positions against the handlebar for a stiffer brake sensation. The levers also feature a reach adjust dial and a free stroke adjustment screw for simple brake tune-ups on the trail.

XC style brake kits (BR-M8100-BL-M8100) with rotors (160 mm RT-MT800) and brake pads weigh 392g and Enduro style brake kits (BR-M8120-BL-M8100) weigh 410g including rotors and pads.

 

Rotors

DEORE XT Rotor Picture: Shimano

 

The redesigned DEORE XT-level ICE TECHNOLOGIES FREEZA rotors (RT-MT800) are designed to maximize cooling, resulting in consistent brake performance and longer lasting brake pads. A sandwiched aluminium core, fused in a durable steel outer layer, dissipates heat via the heat fins in the centre. Sizes available are 140mm (88g), 160mm (109g), 180mm (132g) and 203mm (164g).

 

Wheels

DEORE XT Wheels Picture: Shimano

 

Unlike the XTR M9100 series, the Shimano DEORE XT M8100 series offers complete 27.5 and 29” wheels for XC and Trail/Enduro riding. Shimano XC wheels provide a 24mm wide tubeless ready, fully closed rim bed for tyres up to 2.35”. The 28 double-butted straight-pull spokes offer a perfect mix of stiffness and weight (WH-M8100-27.5: 1764g, WH-M8100-29: 1840g) for fast XC riding.

On the other hand, DEORE XT Trail/Enduro-specific wheelsets offer a 30mm internal rim width made for tyres up to 2.6”. Rear hubs come with zero-dish (O.L.D. 148mm), and the aluminium rims take 28 J-bend spokes (WH-M8120-27.5: 1846g, WH-M8120-29: 1932g).

DEORE XT Rear Hub Picture: Shimano

 

Both the XC and Trail/Enduro rear wheels feature E-THRU axles (15mm front, 12mm rear), 148mm O.L.D. widths and come with Shimano’s MICRO SPLINE cassette interface on the rear hubs.

Individual DEORE XT front hubs and FREEHUBs are also available in widths of 100mm and 142mm, 110mm and 148mm, and 157mm. Hub weights: HB-M8110: 142g, HB-M8110-B: 147g, HB-M8110-BS: 158g, FH-M8110: 305g, FH-M8110-B: 307g, FH-M8110-BS: 306g, FH-M8130-B: 310g.

 

Shimano SLX

SLX Groupset Picture: Shimano

Like DEORE XT, the new SLX M7100 series also features Shimano’s 12-speed MICRO SPLINE cassette with either a 10-45T or 10-51T range, 1×12 or 2×12 cranksets, a dedicated SLX-level 12-speed chain, 2-piston or 4-piston brakes, fully adjustable ISPEC-EV shifters, optimized front and rear derailleurs and 12-speed ready hubsets.

 

Cranksets

SLX Crankset Picture: Shimano

 

The new SLX 1×12 crankset features HOLLOWTECH II technology with an integrated bottom bracket axle and hollow crank arms. Chainrings come with a Dynamic Chain Engagement+ tooth profile, which, with its narrow/wide teeth. To securely and quickly mount the chainring the crank is equipped with a direct mount system. The crankset comes with 30T, 32T and 34T chainring options, interchangeable with XTR and DEORE XT rings, and has crank length options of 165 mm, 170 mm and 175 mm.

SLX M7100 cranksets are available in three chain lines:

– 52mm (FC-M7100-1) for Over Lock-Nut Dimensions (O.L.D.) of 142mm or 148mm to give the narrowest 172mm Q-factor
– 55mm (FC-M7120-1) for an O.L.D. of 148mm for wider tyre and frame clearance (Q-factor 178mm)
– 56.5mm (FC-M7130-1) for an O.L.D. of 157mm and a Q-factor of 181mm

Crankset weights: FC-M7100-1: 631g, FC-M7120-1: 638g, FC-M7130-1: 656g (all 32T; 175mm, w/o BB).

The SLX 2×12 HOLLOWTECH II 36-26T crankset offers a good range when matched with the 10-45T cassette, maximizing your possibilities on all sorts of terrain while maintaining small gear steps.

Two 2x cranksets are available, both featuring a 2-bolt system for fixing the left side crank arm in place on the spindle. Much like DEORE XT, the FC-M7100-2 crankset has a 142mm O.L.D. for chain lines of 48.8mm and a Q-factor of 172mm. The FC-M7120-B2 crankset has a 148mm O.L.D. for chain lines of 51.8mm and a Q-factor of 178mm.

Weight for the FC-M7120-B2 (36-26T, 175mm, w/o BB) is 682g and for the FC-M7100-2 (36-26T, 175mm, w/o BB) is 674g.

 

Cassette

SLX Cassette Picture: Shimano

SLX 12-speed cassettes come with the MICRO SPLINE fitting system and are available in a 10-45T option for small gear steps or a 10-51T option for maximum range. Both cassettes also feature HYPERGLIDE+, which Shimano claims to bring quick up and downshifts and an extremely quiet drivetrain. The cassettes have an aluminium spider to house eleven steel sprockets and one aluminium sprocket for the best balance of durability, weight and riding styles. The CS-M7100-12 10-51T cassette weighs 534g, and the 10-45T option weighs 513g.

 

Chain

SLX Chain Picture: Shimano

 

The SLX new 12-speed HG chain has been redesigned with an extended inner plate to improve chain engagement and retention and comes with SIL-TEC roller link plates. The CN-M7100 chain (113 links + Quick Link) weighs 252g.

 

Derailleurs

SLX Rear Derailleur Picture: Shimano

 

Coming in either single (RD-M7100-SGS) or double (RD-M7120-SGS) chainring variants, the SLX rear derailleur enables precise and quick shifting over that12-speed gear range. Both derailleurs feature SHIMANO SHADOW RD+ positioning as well as bump stoppers and 13T pulley wheels. Rear derailleurs weights: RD-M7100-SGS: 316g, RD-M7120-SGS: 322g.

SLX Front Derailleur Picture: Shimano

The SLX front derailleur comes in one specification for both 48.8mm & 51.8mm chain lines but is available for D-type, E-type or M-type mountings. Front derailleur weights: FD-M7100-D: 135g, FD-M7100-E: 166g, FD-M7100-M: 114g.

 

Shifters

SLX Shifter Picture: Shimano

 

With side adjustment and rotational adjustment options, the ISPEC-EV shifters, which bolt to the brake lever, offer solutions for tailoring the riding feel. Shimano claims that for riders using a 2×12 set-up, a MONO lever (SL-M7100-IL) on the left shifts, the front derailleur both up and down with a light and precise action. SLX M7100 shifters are also available in a clamp band version. Shifter weights: SL-M7100-IR: 121g, SL-M7100-IL: 73g.

 

Brakes

SLX Brake Calliper Picture: Shimano

 

SLX brakes callipers are available in an XC-specific 2-piston version or a Trail/Enduro 4-piston version. The 2-piston version shares the same design as the previous version, which means the previous SLX-level G02S/J02A resin brake pads or G04S/J04C metal pads brake pads are compatible, whereas the 4-piston version is a new completely new construction drawn from the XTR M9100 design, using D03S (resin) or D02S (metal) brake pads pad (compatible also with N03A and NO4C finned pads).

SLX Brake Picture: Shimano

The SLX brake levers work with both the XC and Trail/Enduro callipers and come equipped with Shimano’s Servo wave system. The brake levers are now angled in two positions against the handlebar for a stiffer brake sensation. The levers also feature a reach adjust dial for simple brake tune-ups on the trail.

XC style brake kits (BR-M7100-BL-M7100) with rotors (160 mm SM-RT70) and brake pads weigh 425g, and the Enduro style brake kits (BR-M7120-BL-M7100) weigh 444g including rotors and pads.

 

Rotors

The SLX-level ICE TECHNOLOGIES rotors (SM-RT70) are designed to cool rapidly thanks to a sandwiched aluminium core, fused in a durable steel outer layer, resulting in consistent brake performance and longer lasting brake pads. Sizes available are 140mm (121g), 160mm (133g), 180mm (159g) and 203mm (193g).

 

Hubs

SLX Front Hub Picture: Shimano

Individual SLX front hubs and rear FREEHUBs are available in widths of 100mm and 142mm, 110mm and 148mm, or 157mm. The FREEHUB (FH-M7110) features a cassette body with Shimano’s MICRO SPLINE design. Hub weights: HB-M7110: 142g, HB-M7110-B: 147g, FH-M7110: 350g, FH-M7110-B: 354g, FH-M7130-B: 359g.

SLX Rear Hub Picture: Shimano

 

“While speed, focus and control was the mantra we lived by during the XTR development, we needed to widen that for DEORE XT and SLX. We thought a lot about how and why people ride mountain bikes. For us, the answer was in making a set of components in the right grade and specification to match the competitive ambitions, the adventurous riding styles and the performance quality of mountain bikers across the globe, above all, making sure that riders receive durable performance from having as much fun as possible.” -Henry Bosch, Shimano Europe MTB product coordinator

 

The new DEORE XT M8100 series is available from mid-June 2019. The new SLX M7100 series is also available from July 2019.

SHIMANO DEORE XT and SLX will be available on bikes in June and as after-market components from selected priority retailers on Friday, June 14th 2019. To make your mark this summer visit: shimano.com/makeyourmark.

 

Darren Lim

Darren Lim

Darren is an avid cyclist who is really keen to meet new people and explore the roads untravelled. He appreciates mountains or terrains that gives him a challenge. He loves overseas adventures and is always keen for more.
He is currently an undergraduate of Sports Science and Management in NTU.

“Life is too short to stay comfortable at home. Get on your bike and live life to the fullest!”

Darren Lim


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